During the summer of 2017, Wade Harris began conversations with Commissioner David Magley of the newly formed NAPB (now TBL) discussing opportunities for professional-level players he had been training in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Because of a strong basketball tradition in the state and the exceptional level of college play in the region, there is an extraordinary concentration of high-performing players with pro-league potential in our area. Some of the very players Coach Harris had been training played in the NBA’s G-League, on pro teams in Canada and overseas, and in the NAPB during the 2018 season. With such conditions in terms of regional talent, the discussion turned toward the potential for a TBL expansion team in Raleigh. In Mr. Magley’s extensive experience in all areas of professional basketball, a market like Raleigh has a lot of potential efficiencies and competitive advantages.
As of December 2017, the ownership of the Raleigh Firebirds TBL franchise is Pro Basketball Raleigh, LLC, an entity formed in the state of North Carolina by Wade Harris and Kell Peterson who are both founding members, though Wade Harris is the ‘managing member’. Pro Basketball Raleigh, LLC has received strategic advice from key players in sports management and marketing in the Raleigh area such as Derrick Whittenburg (NC State Basketball Legend), Robert Brickey (Duke Basketball Legend and former Firebirds Head Coach) and Phil Ford (UNC Basketball Legend) along with Hill Carrow who has vast experience with professional sports management and marketing.